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junko.yoshida
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Re: What connectivity does this in-car phone NEED?
junko.yoshida   7/24/2013 2:10:17 PM
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DMcCunney, this is what GM CEO said in June. (It's in the second page of this story)

 
Every brand we offer -- from Chevrolet to Cadillac -- and nearly every vehicle we sell around the world will soon offer 4G LTE, starting next year in the United States and Canada. It's a global rollout because that's what customers want -- and we have the scale to deliver.


Frank Eory
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CEO
Re: Missed opportunity
Frank Eory   7/24/2013 1:21:55 PM
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"why not just release a carrier pigeon from the trunk in the event of an accident".

Or just skip the whole cellular thing and instead have a CB radio and a voice synthesizer that repeats "help! I've been in a car accident!"

DMcCunney
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CEO
Re: What connectivity does this in-car phone NEED?
DMcCunney   7/24/2013 10:52:23 AM
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Er, which cars?  Somehow, I doubt that will be for every GM model.  I haven't looked, so I don't know what use cases GM foresees, or how they plan to market it, but I'm confident they will try to position it as a differentiator and a reason to buy a GM car over another brand.

I also suspect that inclusion in European cars was more a matter of government mandate than marketing choice, and it was a case of "The government says we have to do this.  What's the cheapest way to comply?"

 

junko.yoshida
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Re: What connectivity does this in-car phone NEED?
junko.yoshida   7/24/2013 10:28:09 AM
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Points well taken. But that doesn't really explain why, then, GM is putting LTE modem in their cars...

 

DMcCunney
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CEO
Re: Missed opportunity
DMcCunney   7/24/2013 9:37:38 AM
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Since the driver and passengers in the car are likely to have thir own cell phones, tell me how fancy and sophisticated the car's phone has to be?

I have no doubt automakers might provide more powerful and sophisticated built-in phones as extra cost options, if there are compelling use cases that will get the buyer to shell out more.

If I already have a cell phone that can do that sort of thing, why do I need my car to do it?

 

DMcCunney
User Rank
CEO
What connectivity does this in-car phone NEED?
DMcCunney   7/24/2013 9:30:36 AM
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I don't necessarily see 2G as a problem.  The built-in phone is intended to let the car make calls.  The people in the car will likely have their own phones.  Does the car need 3G for the sort of calls (like roadside assistance requests) that it may need to make?

And automakers aren't cheapskates - buyers are.  The more expensive the components they put into cars, the higher the sticker price has to be, and price will be a factor in the purchase decision.

So for something like this, if lower end and therefore cheaper technology will meet the need, it's what will get used.

bobdvb
User Rank
Manager
Re: Missed opportunity
bobdvb   7/24/2013 8:58:15 AM
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Rick, you know what is really effective and unaffected by cellular reception issues? Rotary spark gap generators and as a bonus I am pretty sure Marconi's patents have expired. All we need is a hardened microcontroller to use the engines condenser to generate the requisit transmissions!

Saves feeding the pidgeon!

junko.yoshida
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Blogger
Re: Missed opportunity
junko.yoshida   7/24/2013 8:48:46 AM
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I totally agree with you, Rick. 

When consumer electroincs was my main beat at EE Times for a long time, I was always reminded that every penny counts. In other words, CE vendors will never go out of their way to add expensive chips inside their box, unless they are a real "game changer."

But now that I pursue the automotive beat, I am astounded to learn how these carmakers really ask for saving this penny here and that penny there. Wow, I had no idea! 

rick merritt
User Rank
Author
Re: Missed opportunity
rick merritt   7/24/2013 8:43:21 AM
Yeah, this reminds me how I finally got a car with a CD player about the time music went to the MP3 generation. (My next car will have an iPhone dock!)

I underdstand reliability is a top concern for carmakers, there are few robust LTE chips on the market and not all areas have LTE servcies yet, but 2G? Holy crow, why not just release a carrier pidgeon from the trunk in the event of an accident ;-)

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Security
junko.yoshida   7/24/2013 8:41:27 AM
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Now, that's interesting. Thanks for your quick response.

My understanding is that the eCall is a dormant system, only triggered when an accident occurs or by the driver pushing a button manually in the car.

The European Commission even said in a statement:

"It is not traceable and when there is no emergency (its normal operational status) it is not subject to any constant tracking. As it is not permanently connected to mobile networks, hackers cannot take control of it."


But now, thatt seems a tad too optimistic, doesn't it?

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